HONOLULU – Maʻemaʻe Elementary, Mānoa Elementary and Wheeler Middle schools have been named 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.
The program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on academic performance and progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
The three Hawaiʻi schools were among 325 school winners nationwide announced today by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
"The prestigious National Blue Ribbon Schools award recognizes and celebrates the quality and excellence of our public schools in Hawaiʻi,” Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “These types of accomplishments reflect the dedication and commitment of an entire school community. This is a proud moment for the students, teachers, staff and families of Maʻemaʻe Elementary, Mānoa Elementary and Wheeler Middle schools and I congratulate them on this well-deserved achievement.”
Public schools nominated for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award must meet one of two performance award criteria:
- Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state's highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
- Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state's highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school's subgroups and all students over the past five years.
Hawaiʻi’s three recognized schools met the criteria for Exemplary High Performing schools, ranking in the top 15% of Hawaiʻi schools in achievement in English and math.
Major Sheldon Wheeler Middle School’s performance exceeded statewide averages in English language arts and math by over 15 percentage points in the selection year.
The middle school serves a student body of 705 learners with 97% of the student population coming from military-impacted families.
Wheeler Middle School is one of five Hawaii Department of Education schools on a U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii installation.
A first-time National Blue Ribbon School recipient, Wheeler Middle attributes its academic success to its dynamic and adaptive school culture that focuses on strategically addressing the developing needs of individual students.
With a highly transient military student population, Wheeler Middle prioritizes students’ social emotional well-being, placing every student in small learning groups to foster stronger teacher-student relationships, and to promote higher levels of teacher accountability and investment in individual student outcomes.
Student social emotional needs are further supported through weekly CARE meetings, where students are connected to a team that monitors their individual social, emotional and behavioral competencies, linking students to school support systems when needed.
For more information on the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, visit http://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.